The researchers of the University of Southern California found out that removing the telltale protein reverses memory loss in mice.
The new research from scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC shows that the body’s immune system may be able to clear the brain of toxic plaque build-up that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, reversing memory loss and brain cell damage.
The study appears to be a promising avenue for treating the Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. It is the most common type of dementia (a general term referring to a loss of memory and other mental abilities) that affects over 5 million Americans today.
Brains with Alzheimer’s disease show build-up of a sticky plaque — made of a protein called beta-amyloid — that induces memory loss. When afflicted with Alzheimer’s, the immune system — which typically rids the body of toxic substances — becomes imbalanced and inefficient at clearing those plaques.
In their study called, The Neuron Study, Town and his team show that blocking a substance called interleukin-10 activates immune response to clear the brain of the beta-amyloid plaques to restore memory loss and brain cell damage. Alzheimer’s-afflicted mice in which the immune cells were activated behaved more like mice without the disease in various learning and memory tests. Future studies will test the effectiveness of drugs that target interleukin-10 in rats that the scientists have genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is the public health crisis of our time, and effective treatment doesn’t exist yet. Our study shows that ‘rebalancing’ the immune response to wipe away toxic plaques from the brain may bring new hope for a safe and effective treatment for this devastating illness of the mind,” said Terrence Town, professor of physiology and biophysics at the Keck School of Medicine and the study’s senior author.
via Science Daily